Good morning, RVA! It's 53 °F, and warm weather finally returns in earnest. Highs today are basically 70 °F. Get excited, but keep in mind it does look like rain could fall this afternoon and into tomorrow morning.
1st District School Board Representative Liz Doerr has two posts for you to read today: 1) a nice piece about why she supports the Mayor’s proposal to roll back the Recession-era real estate tax cuts; and 2) a great companion piece explaining why certain line items in the Richmond Public Schools budget have increased or decreased. The latter is wonderful and addresses a lot of the concern/trolling/concern-trolling I’ve seen floating around the internet. I would love more of this from all of our elected representatives! I know that she’s a busy person and has things to do besides knocking out 2,400 words explaining the budget and its mysterious ways, but, dang, those are some valuable words and I really appreciate them.
It’s Monday, so here’s the link to this week’s RPS Superintendent email. As you might have guessed, the Superintendent focuses on the budget, and there’s some pretty heavy budgetchat along with a useful budgetFAQ that you should take the time to read through. He also points out that the application for the VUU is RVA program is now live (in both English- and Spanish-language versions. It was a literal forever ago, but maybe you remember VUU announcing they would award full rides to 50 current 8th graders who graduate from an RPS high school. Applications must be submitted by April 15th, so take a minute today and think hard about which young person in your life you should encourage to apply.
City Council meets today for their third budget session (this one’s titled “Strong Future”), at which they’ll hear from Social Services, Community Wealth Building, the Richmond Public Library, and Justice Services. After the morning presentation session, Council will dive into their first amendment sessions and will propose cuts and additions to the budgets of any of the departments they heard from in their first two work sessions. After the daylong budget slog, they’ll head directly into their regularly scheduled meeting. You can find the agenda for that here (PDF), but it’s mostly a stack of continued papers, Special Use Permits, and RES. 2019-R009. That resolution would, I think, establish a policy that would require at least 55.4% of the City’s real estate tax revenues be set aside for schools—basically a dedicated revenue stream for RPS. I know many school districts across the country can levy their own taxes so that they have their own dedicated funding, but, for those that cannot, is this sort of policy common? I have no idea, but would love to learn more.
Colleen Curran at the RTD has a wonderful profile and update to what’s going on over at Spacebomb, a local record label doing big things. They’ve recently moved their office and studio into the Fan and are busy creating great music—like this single from Bedouine whose new album drops later this year. If you haven’t done so already, spend today listening through Spacebomb’s Artists Page.
Well this is definitely up my alley: Someone found old radio tapes from WDCK 96.5 FM in 1991 and cut together all of the commercials, and I love it. The Willow Lawn song right at the top is worth tapping on the link. Thanks to /r/rva for pointing this out to me!
I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but VCU’s master plan exists (PDF) and has the approval of its Board of Visitors. Mike Platania at Richmond BizSense has a quick overview.
You can now listen to Episode 65 of the Sam and Ross Like Things podcast. Fill your ears with about an hour of things worth liking—including long underwear and working at the library.
This morning's longread
Here’s a cool history about a cool color scheme that features a cool Richmonder!
If I bring up a terminal window that doesn't have Solarized, I feel out of place; I don't feel at home," says Zachery Bir, a Richmond, Virginia, programmer and artist who has been using Solarized since shortly after it was released in 2011. Bir likes Solarized so much he uses it as the color scheme for his computer-generated art. "I didn't trust myself to come up with a palette that was balanced and looked good both in a dark and light medium," he says. The Solarized color scheme is no accident. It reflects the obsessive attention to detail of its creator, Ethan Schoonover. "I didn't release it until I was 1,000 percent sure I loved all the colors and they were all dialed in mathematically," Schoonover says. "I had multiple monitors, some were color calibrated, others were deliberately messed up. Sometimes I showed my wife, who thought I was a little nuts."
If you’d like your longread to show up here, go chip in a couple bucks on the ol’ Patreon.